Monday, March 29, 2010

Infinite test swatch

I started knitting a test swatch for what I've been thinking of as my "South Face" hat. I thought the concept was relatively easy: instead of cabling back and forth, the stitches would keep getting passed the same way (moving always right or always left) and passed over and under each other making a basket-weave. I decided to make a swatch in one color first. It became clear (shamefully, it should have been clear before I started) that if you are constantly moving stitches one direction, they're going to hit the edge eventually and have nowhere to go. I had to make an 'infinite test swatch'--a tube, so the cables could keep moving around. Here's what formed:

I'm sure this is not a new stitch--I'm excellent at reinventing the wheel. This wasn't exactly what I had in mind, but I think it's still cool. There's a lot of tension on it that I'm pretty sure wouldn't be there if two colors were being used, but I need to make another infinite swatch to check it out. I was thinking of writing the pattern so it could be done in one color or two (i.e. and easy/more difficult version) but I think that they would have to be two completely different patterns if the tension is as different as I suspect it is.

What to do with this little gem I just made though? My first thought was a cup cozy. I could write up a quick little pattern for that! Damn it. If you don't have a Ravelry account, here's the gist via screenshot:

Like I said, reinventing the wheel (just published this month though, so closer than normal). Actually, my infinite swatch is a bit too small for your average cup of joe, and I think it makes a nifty bracelet:

Too dorky? I can't even tell anymore.

I love little projects you can do with your scrap yarn, so maybe I'll write this as a pattern.

On a completely unrelated note, I've been noticing a correlation between a car's make and how closely they pass me when I'm cycling home from work. This particular route is in North Berkeley, which consists of winding roads going up a steep hill with virtually no shoulders. While on a conference call, I made a little graph to demonstrate:
OK, let's break it down. The square is, on average, where the brand falls on the "Curve of Courtesy" (patent pending). The bars represent the scatter from that average, for example, Buicks tend to pass anywhere with a 2 ft. to 4 ft. leeway.

Subaru - I may be a bit personally biased since I love my Soobie, but these folks are just nice. They tend to slow way down and pull completely into the other lane, and once I even got a courtesy "I'm here" beep on the horn.

Beater - Originally ranked beaters the same courtesy as Subarus, but my housemate pointed out that the reason they pass slowly may be because they're maxing out their speed up the hill as it is.

Honda - Not overly courteous, but I usually don't feel in any danger either.

Toyota - Similar to Honda. Slightly more dick-ish. May or may not be related to uncontrolled acceleration in Camrys or Priuses (Priusi?)

Volkswagen - These guys are all over the map. I have no idea whether they're going to give me a wide berth or mow me down. Slightly terrifying.

Buick - Tend to pass pretty closely. I attribute it to the fact that most Buicks are owned by old farts (sorry Mom and Dad--call 'em as I see 'em) and they probably notice me and my day-glo yellow vest at the last second and have to swerve around. I understand that you're looking for the nearest Country Kitchen Buffet, but try to keep your eyes on the road.

BMW, Mercedes-Benz - Now we're getting to the true assholes of the road. These are the people believe that only cars should be allowed on the roads, because safely passing a cyclist or pedestrian might make them 30 seconds late to the gala benefiting Beating Up the Homeless.

Two-seaters - How do I say this graciously? These guys have small penises. I know I should feel sorry for them for that, but I'm too busy peeing my pants out of fear.

Porsche - You may be wondering why Porsche is in the negative region; I'm pretty sure that these dudes would swerve to hit a cyclist rather than avoid one.

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